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Policing UK Demonstrations


Heavy handing policing of demonstrations


18th March
2011
  

Update: Protest Banned...

Long time protestor Brian Haw set to be evicted form Parliament Square

Long time protestor Brian Haw looks set to be removed by force from the pavement opposite Parliament. The High Court ruled in favour of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who wants to have him evicted.

But he will not be forced out until Monday 28 March. He has until then to lodge an appeal against the ruling.

Haw has been camped on the roadside opposite Parliament almost continuously since 2001, in protest against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A High Court judge, Wyn Williams, has now ordered the removal of both Haw and his fellow activist, Barbara Tucker. Williams granted an injunction against them, which he described as proportionate .

The pavement around the Parliament Square belongs to Westminster Council. Westminster Council insist that camps outside Parliament are an eyesore . But civil liberties campaigners argue that allowing protests outside Parliament sends out a positive message to tourists about the right to free expression in Britain.

 

27th October
2009

 Offsite: Terror Tactics...

Police re-brand lawful protest as 'domestic extremism'

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

15th April
2009
  

Update: Calling the Kettlers Black...

Police beating of woman G20 protestor posted on YouTube

The unconvincing police watchdog is to investigate a fresh claim of alleged police brutality after new video footage emerged showing a woman being hit by an officer during the G20 protests.

The Metropolitan officer, who has his identification number covered up in the video, appears to slap the woman across the face before taking out his baton and hitting her on the legs. He was last night identified and suspended by the Met.

The new incident, which appeared on the website You Tube, is another blow for the Met which has already faced intense criticism over the beating and death of Ian Tomlinson.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has already received around 120 complaints about police actions during the G20 protests. The fact the officer is not showing his police ID number is reminiscent of the Tomlinson incident where the officer in question also failed to have his number on show.

Scotland Yard said the footage raised immediate concerns when it became aware of it on Tuesday afternoon and was referring the matter to the IPCC. A spokesman said: Every officer is accountable under law, and fully aware of the scrutiny that their actions can be held open to. The decision to use force is made by the individual police officer, and they must account for that.

It emerged earlier that CCTV footage of the moment Mr Tomlinson was hit and shoved to the ground by a police officer could exist after investigators admitted they were wrong to say there were no cameras in the area. Last week Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating, said there was no CCTV footage because there were no cameras in the location where he was assaulted. But the IPCC yesterday issued a clarification that Hardwick's assertion may not be accurate and that there were indeed cameras covering the area. A spokeswoman insisted the investigators knew that from the start and have been examining hours of footage.

 

11th April
2009
  

Offsite: Nobody's Keeping an Eye on the Police...

The surveillance state turned a blind eye on Ian Tomlinson

The big stories about the police in recent days have been a reminder of how nonsensical are our laws on public surveillance. In Britain today, there's scarcely a wall unencumbered by a CCTV camera, spying on our doings and thus helping us feel safe (if the knowledge that your every action is being watched and recorded does indeed help you feel safe, rather than itchily paranoid). And yet, when a policeman at the G20 protests apparently attacked a man who was merely trying to walk home, no CCTV footage of the alleged assault was forthcoming.

CCTV, it was reported, showed Ian Tomlinson walking in the direction of the police before the incident. CCTV also showed him walking away from the scene afterwards. Curiously, though, we never heard of any CCTV footage showing the alleged assault take place. We saw what really happened only because a bystander captured it on video.

...Read full article




 

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